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Jackson't Bio

Posted 01-29-2011 at 01:34 AM by slotshot
Updated 01-29-2011 at 01:47 AM by slotshot

Jackson Carter's Bio
Jackson Liam Carter, or as his friends and family sometimes refer to him "Superman", came into the world on February 5th, 2003. It was quickly determined that Jackson was born as a Down Syndrome (DS) person. His parents quickly recovered from this shocking discovery and resolved to love, support and nurture him even more for this special legacy. This resolve would be soon be tested as, days later, they were also informed that Jackson was born with an AV Canal defect that seriously compromised the function of his heart. Fortunately, open-heart surgery four months later proved to almost entirely alleviate this problem! This would be the first of many medical problems that Jackson would eventually overcome, earning him his Superman nickname.

Several relatively uneventful years followed this surgery. Jackson proved to be quite strong for a person with DS, and he really seemed to put an extraordinary amount of energy and determination into the large amounts of physical, occupational and speech therapy that is required from a very young person with DS. He also showed a terrific sense of humor and probably laughed twice as much as a typical boy!

Jackson and his family progressed happily through these first several years, enjoying his childhood and his hard-earned mental and physical progress. During the first few weeks of his 1st grade school year, it was another terrible shock to learn that Jackson was very sick and that Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia was the diagnosis. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and quickly began a rigorous phase of chemotherapy. After his eventual release, he suffered through 6 more months of increasing powerful treatments aimed at not only ridding his body of this cancer, but also keeping it suppressed. Although these courses of chemo frequently made him quite sick, he NEVER lost his fun sense of humor or his infectious laugh. Fortunately, Jackson's most difficult portion of chemo ended about 6 months later and he has since been involved in the final phase of chemo labeled "Long Term Maintenance". During this phase he still takes chemotherapy drugs (orally, intravenously and into his spine) on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Mercifully, the dosage of these drugs is smaller and carries significantly fewer side-effects. This phase will last almost 3 years and will finally be completed in November of 2012. Currently, he only returns for hospital stays if his immune system becomes too depressed and he catches a virus.

Unfortunately, Jackson was not quite finished with his adventures testing medical science. On October 31st, 2010 (Halloween), Jackson suffered a devastating fall from his second story window. After a Care Flight to the all-too-familiar Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth it was determined that he suffered from a broken femur, seven spinal compression fractures and an extensively fractured skull. His initial prognosis was obviously very poor. Once again however, Jackson managed to overcome this dismal possible outcome!! Although his skull was in extremely poor shape, he showed miraculously little brain damage on his MRI and CT exams. The skilled neurosurgery team was able to repair his skull with plates and screws. The orthopedic surgeons implanted "flexible nails" in his femur to begin the healing there as well. Nine days following his arrival in the ER, Jackson rolled out of the hospital with a healing skull, neck brace, an immobilized leg and a BIG smile!

We are now 3 months past Jackson's accident. He has since shed his neck brace and his scalp/skull injuries are healed and easily hid behind 3 months growth of hair. Also, he is (albeit slowly) walking again! His hilarious sense of humor is wonderfully intact and he is even rolling around school again. His life has essentially returned to what he enjoyed prior to his accident. He loves playing with his sister Taryn, watching everything related to Scooby Doo and playing with his vast collection of dinosaur toys (he knows the scientific names of all of them!). A blog that has been kept during much of his journey since his Leukemia diagnosis can be found at, under the page" jacksoncarterinfo". There are also a great many pictures of the handsome Mr. Jackson as well.

He and his family are all really looking forward to his trip to Disney World this year and are hugely thankful for the generosity of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and their donors, for the incredible work they do to support children with life threatening conditions.

Your Friends,
The Carters (Jackson, Craig, Jeanne, Nick and Taryn)
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